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SYNGENTA'S CEO REPORTS GOOD PROGRESS IS BEING MADE IN CHEMCHINA PURCHASE
Dow Jones reports:

Syngenta AG (SYT) Chief Executive Erik Fyrwald said Wednesday that good progress is being made on regulatory approval of the proposed $43 billion acquisition of the Swiss seed and pesticide maker by ChemChina and that he expects the deal to close in the second quarter.

"Each day we grow increasingly confident," Mr. Fyrwald said in an interview after the company released its 2016 results.

Syngenta said it has received regulatory approval from 13 authorities and that approvals are pending from Brazil, Canada, India, Mexico, the U.S. and European Union. The European Commission, the bloc's antitrust regulator, has given itself until April 12 to decide on the deal, which it is scrutinizing alongside other deals in the sector, including Dow Chemical Co. (DOW) and DuPont Co. and one between Bayer AG (BAYN.XE) and Monsanto Co.(MON).

The decision from European regulators could come before April 12, Mr. Fyrwald said.

Syngenta said Wednesday that its 2016 sales were $12.79 billion, down from $13.41 billion in 2015. Net income was $1.18 billion, compared with $1.34 billion in 2015.

"Overall the year was a challenging one for the industry," Mr. Fyrwald said. Still, the company expects low single-digit growth in sales after adjusting for currency changes.


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